On Wednesday he pitched in relief for the Tribe during Wednesday's 17-2 loss to the Cavaliers.
"I remember sitting in the stands the last time UVA was here, and I thought that it was really cool to see the place fill up," Castner recalled. "But playing in front of the same packed house was even cooler. It's unfortunately that we didn't compete as well as we are capable of, but win or lose our team emphasizes putting the last game behind us and getting ready for the next game."
Castner allowed two earned runs on two hits in an inning of relief for the Tribe.
He said Wednesday's outing was a learning experience.
"It's a great opportunity to play against a high-caliber team like that, but it's just another game. No matter who you play, you have to attack the strike zone, string some at bats together and make the routine plays. If you don't do that, you won't beat anybody."
Ryan Lindemuth was in his first year with the Tribe the last time Virginia played in Williamsburg.
"It's a big deal for us," he said. "It's rare that you get opportunities like this early in the season, so we're eager to take advantage of it."
The senior second baseman, who went 0-for-3, knows that this was just one of 56 games on the schedule. "A game like this shows our team where we stack up against the best in the country," he said. "You want to face these opponents because it's similar to those you play in postseason."
Michael Katz won't soon forget Wednesday's game. The junior outfielder had two hits, including a two-run blast in the fourth inning to account for W&M's offense.
"You always get excited when you get an opportunity to face some of the best competition in the country," he said. "It gives us a chance to measure ourselves."
Despite the loss, the Tribe have high expectations. W&M returns 15 players from last year's squad that posted a school record 39 wins and earned an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.
"Playing for a CAA championship is the biggest game we're looking to play at the end of the spring," Katz said. "So if Virginia is the biggest game, that means that we didn't finish our job."
Harvey can be reached by phone at 757-345-2352.